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Symbolist Movement

A group of late 19th-century French writers, including Arthur Rimbaud and Stéphane Mallarmé, who favored dreams, visions, and the associative powers of the imagination in their poetry. They rejected their predecessors’ tendency toward naturalism and realism, believing that the purpose of art was not to represent reality but to access greater truths by the “systematic derangement of the senses,” as Rimbaud described it. The translated works of Edgar Allan Poe influenced the French Symbolists.

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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